With green tea being mentioned as a panacea for so much of what ails us, from cancer to heart disease, it's no wonder that it's touted in some circles as an antidote to depression. But does this impressive beverage actually have an impact on clinical depression? Can you cure yourself of depression simply by steeping some tea several times a day?

Probably not. Several years ago a Japanese study was conducted to determine whether green tea had any positive psychological effects other than the "pleasurable mental feeling" it was purported to induce. Researchers analyzed the answers of 380 survey respondents who were interviewed at home about their green-tea consumption, state of mind, and general lifestyle, and found there was no statistically significant mental-health benefit to be gained from drinking green tea regularly. Interestingly, most of the survey respondents felt that drinking green tea "relaxes the mind." However, the researchers noted that people who reported being more stressed in general drank less green tea overall than more relaxed people. The study did not cover clinical depression.

Green tea is just one component of a healthful lifestyle, one that includes exercise, a proper diet, adequate rest and stress management. If setting aside a few moments several times a day to savor a cup of green tea is a relaxing and restoring ritual for you, it stands to reason that doing so may have a positive impact on your depression. And since green tea is widely acknowledged to reduce the risk of many diseases and medical conditions that may exacerbate depression, drinking it regularly certainly can help lift your mood.